When Stacie Murphy reached out to the local community last week for support planning a candlelight vigil in memory of the lives lost at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, she had high hopes.
She knew that Wilmington residents were touched by the tragedy and anticipated that they would appreciate an opportunity to come together to support the Newtown, Conn., community.
What she didn’t expect, however, was the overwhelming number of responses she received from organizations and individuals throughout the town. As a result, the vigil will take place on Saturday at 6 p.m. on Town Common.
“From the messages I’ve received from people in our community, there's no doubt to me that Wilmington is supporting Newtown,” she said. “We are asking everyone to bring a candle to light in memory of the victims.”
With the Town Common secured for Saturday evening, details for the vigil are rapidly coming together. Murphy's goal is to have a group of children read the names of each of the victims while members of the community light candles in their honor.
“As of right now I have a handful of children willing to stand up and read the names,” Murphy said. “I welcome any others that would like to participate.”
Anyone else who would like to read or to speak is invited to join the vigil. Interested residents can e-mail at email@example.com in advance of the event.
In addition to the actual ceremony, Murphy is looking forward to having The Learning Experience on the Town Common to collect snowflakes for “The Snowflake Project.” The goal is to gather as many of these snowflakes as possible to be sent to Newtown community.
“The Snowflake Project is looking for cheerful, happy (think glitter and sparkly) snowflakes that contain no words,” Murphy said.
Of course, as Murphy pointed out, this vigil would not be possible without the Town of Wilmington’s support. Murphy asked to thank Board of Selectmen chairman Mike Newhouse and Town Manager for their assistance planning the event.
Even with so much backing, however, Murphy still has plenty to do before Saturday evening.
“I’d like a microphone, but I do not believe I will have access to electricity so I will speak loudly, she pointed out. “If anyone can find a solution to that problem I'd be so grateful.”
Murphy would also like to remind everyone that a fund has been set up to assist the Newtown community deal with this tragedy.
Donations can be sent to: Sandy Hook School Support Fund, c/o Newtown Savings Bank, 39 Main Street, Newtown, CT 06470.